A Season 2 Alum, I blog about the NBC talent competition every week for TheWrap
We’re at a pretty crucial part of the competition – whittling it down from the Top 10 to the Top 8. Now there’s a lot of ground to cover, so let’s grab a couple beers and talk this week’s “The Voice.”
1. The bat has landed.
Coach Cee Lo Green channeled Zorro last week, and now he’s giving off a “Batman in repose” vibe… maybe? OK, I’m not really sure what’s happening here, but I appreciate his efforts to keep it Cee Lo.
2. Best velvet jacket.
Between his killer velvet jacket, piano prowess and high energy performance, Will Champlin’s “Love Me” was one of the most entertaining moments of the night. He managed to take a song that’s not well known in the US and send us all to iTunes looking for the original (some sly cross-promotion from Universal Republic – PROPS!).
3. If it ain’t broke…
I’m all for taking chances, but dramatic changes in direction didn’t do Austin Jenckes or Jacquie Lee any favors this week. Austin's “Your Love” was not well suited to his particular talents, and Jacquie’s “Clarity” didn’t really lock in until the last third of the song. Coaches – when it comes to song choices, sometimes we need less “shock and awe” and more “awe” (IE: try playing to a contestant’s strengths).
4. If you crossed “Phantom of the Opera” with Florence & The Machine…
You would probably get last night’s performance from Kat Robichaud. Her take on “We Belong” was visually stunning, and despite a few vocal hiccups due to some intense choreography, it went well. Keeping that in mind, I’m wondering why we needed all the bells and whistles when Kat IS the bells and whistles?
5. This one time at band camp…
“Leaving on a Jet Plane” was a song Caroline Pennell felt compelled to sing because of some fond childhood memories and CAMP (Aww). I think her motivation was sweet, but I really wish Ceelo had said “Listen, I love you, but this is not a good idea.” The song was entirely too sleepy for this stage of the competition and may have set her back with voters. While I appreciate the idea of letting Caroline follow her bliss, I also think this would be a good time to make more calculated choices.
6. Best vocal performance.
This would have to go to Tessanne Chin for her passionate rendition of “If I Was Your Woman.” Gladys Knight is no joke, you guys, which makes me doubly impressed with Tessanne’s fantastic performance this week. I’m just hoping the classic song plays well with younger voters, because this woman has definitely earned her spot in the Top 8.
7. I’d like a side of fire with my “Swamp Pop.”
I have complicated feelings for Ray Boudreaux. His voice is one of the most distinctive in the competition, but his lack of connection onstage is problematic. Last night’s “You are the Best Thing” was good, but I want to see more of the fire I hear in his voice show in his performance. I think that is all he’s missing to transition from merely good to awesome.
8. Yoga night with Auntie Christina.
Coach Christina Aguilera’s yoga segments were adorable and basically made me want to take yoga with Christina. Hey girl – CALL ME.
9. The James Wolpert blender.
I love James Wolpert, but his “Without You” just didn’t sit right last night. Since the gorgeous “A Case Of You,” there seems to have been some confusion about his musical arc on the show. Coach Adam Levine talked about how he puts his covers through “The James Wolpert” blender. That’s cool, but what are we making? A juice? A green smoothie? Soup? Let’s decide before the season’s over, eh?
10. You say potato; I say piano.
I’m going to have to disagree with coach Blake Shelton on whether Cole Vosbury’s “Be With You” is better on guitar or piano (I call piano, because there is nothing sexier than a bearded man playing piano). Despite that, Cole came out a winner with one of the more solid performances this week. There’s something wholly likeable about him onstage, and that is incredibly important when voters are involved.
11. My 80’s Mix.
Between Austin, James, Kat and Cole’s song selections, we revisited the 80’s pretty often this week. Cole and his beard took the lead, because Movember, but all this 80’s appreciation delighted me.
12. Hello ladies.
Come on, Matthew Schuler. I appreciate the self-deprecation, but as Adam said – you will have no problems finding a wife after last night’s “Beneath Your Beautiful.” While I don’t think it was your best performance, you’re one of the most consistently “on” players in the competition. You’re also pretty adorable. Now ladies? Ready, set…go get him!
Coming up: Who do you think will survive Tuesday’s eliminations? Who do you think will require the “Instant Save?”
Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and I’ll see you next week!
Don’t forget to check out my new album “In & Out of the Dark,” which is available on iTunes NOW: https://itun.es/us/2BjbP. For more updates, follow me on Twitter at @katrinapmusic and visit my website, www.katrinaparker.com.
“The Voice” eliminations air at 9/8c Tuesday on NBC.